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Medicinal Plants






Bhumi Amalki



















Vai Vidang


Milk Thistle




Stevia  ||  Safed Musli







Annatto is profusely fruiting shrub or small tree that grows 5-10 m in height. Approximately 50 seeds grows inside reddish-orange heart-shaped pods at the end of the branches. one small annatto tree can produce upto 270 kg. of seeds which is the source of orange-yellow dye. Annatto is known as Achiote in Spanish, Urucum in Portuguese & Lipstick tree in English.


It grows throughout South & Central America, Caribbean and can be found in some parts of Mexico as well.


Family          :     Bixaceae
Genus          :     Bixa
Species        :     Orellana


Used Plant Parts : Seeds, Leaves, Bark, Roots, Shoots

Uses : As a dye and coloring agent

Agroclimatic Requirement for Annatto Cultivation : The plant is widely 
cultivated and naturalized in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. 
Rainfall ranges from 1000 mm - 3000 mm per year in areas where the species grows naturally or under cultivation. Soils with texture from sandy to clay are colonized. The species is frost sensitive.

Cultivation practices

Land Preparation : Trenches of 10"x10" x 10" size are prepared at the distance of 10" x 10" to 10" x 15" for planting in the month of July-August.

Seeds: 200 plants are required per Acre





A small evergreen tree 6 to 9 m high found wild along streams or in shade of evergreen forests. Leaves pari-pinnate, 15-20 am long, leaflets 6-12, oblong, lanceolate; flowers orange or orange-yellow very fragrant; pods flat, leathery; seeds 4-8 ellipsoid-oblong.

Common Name : Ashok, Sita Ashok.


Almost throughout India up to an altitude of 720 m in the center and eastern Himalayas & Khasi, Garo and Lushai hills. It is also found in the Andaman Islands.

Parts Used : Stem Bark


Soil and Climate

The plant requires slightly acidic to neutral soils for good growth with medium to deep well drained fertile soils. It grows well in tropical to sub-tropical situations under irrigation.

Nursery Raising and Planting

Seeds and stem grafting can propagate the crop. The seedlings are planted in well-manured field during the rainy season.

Thinning and weeding

Weeding and thinning of the plants may be done and when required usually after 15-30 days for better growth.


Compost / vermin compost, organic manure is preferred.


Normally grown as rainfed crop but for better yield irrigation may be done as per requirement (weekly/fortnightly)

Harvesting/Post-Harvesting Operation

Bark is removed from about ten years or older tree and then it has to be sun dried.


Input Cost                                 Rs. 5,500.00

   Output                                     Rs. 20,000.00


Leucorrhoea, Menorrhagia, fever, burning sensation, uterine disease.





An erect branched under shrub up to 2 feat in height root fleshy, whitish brown : leaves ovate; flowers greenish.


Family         -         solanaceae
Genus         -         withania 
Species       -         somnifera

Common names: - Ashwganda, asgandh, punir .
Distribution: - Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, U.P, M.P.
Parts used: Roots, Leaf, and Seeds.


It can be used for diseases like insomnia, weakness, ulcers.

Cultivation practices

Soil and Climate: Grows well in sandy loam or light red soil. The semitropical areas receiving 500-750 mm rainfall are suitable for cultivation. The winter rains are conductive for the proper development of the plant.

The soil of the field selected for Ashwgandha should used pulverized by ploughing and harrowing.

The crop can be soon either by broad costing or in lines. The seeds are usually soon about 1-3 cm deep in June - July in nursery. A light shower after sowing ensures good germination. About 500 - 750 gm seeds are sufficient for one hectare. The seedling after 25 - 35 days after sowing can be transplanted in the field maintaining 60 x 60 cm spacing between the plants and the rows.

Thinning and weeding should be done after 25 - 30 days are sowing.

1 Quintal FYM per area.

Light shower after transplantation ensure establishment of seedlings. There is no need of irrigation in rainfall at regular intervals.

The plants start flowering and bearing fruits from December on wards. The crops is ready for harvest in January - march.


Yield : On an average yield from one acre land under commercial cultivation is an approx. 2-3 quintals of dried roots and 30-40 kg seeds.
Cost of cultivation, yield and income per acre


Cost (Rs.)

Land preparation and ploughing


Cost of seeds (5 kg) @ 50-60/kg


Pesticides etc.


Weeding and irrigation


Harvesting of seeds, digging of roots, cleaning, grading


Packing material 




Contingencies 10%



6,930 - 7000.00

Yield and Income

Roots (kg)


@ 60 / Kg


Seeds (Kg / @ 50 / Kg)


Total Income 


Net Income 





A herbaceous, erect, biennial herb; leaves more or less hetero morphous; flower blue or violet, fruits follicles. Root tuberous in pairs whitish or gray, breaks very easily and taste very bitter. The plant is found in sub- alpine and alpine zone of Himalayas, between 2400-3600 m.

Common names: atyees, aruna, ativasa, visa.


Hills of Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Jammu & Kashmir, arunachal pradesh and sikkm.

Part used: tuberous root



Sandy loam and acidic soil is best for seed germination, survival, better growth and yield. In germination, cultivation up to 2500m elevation having sandy textured soil with rich organic matter us recommended for cultivation.


Germination of seeds of aconitum heterophllum can be undertaken at lower altitude in ployhouse as well as in open nursery beds under different experimental conditions. Seeds sown in Styrofoam seedling trays containing sandy soil with litter treatment, gives maximum germinability when seeds were sown 0.5-0.7 cm. Sowing depth inside polyhouse during November and December at lower altitude and during April in open beds at 2200m. Germination as well as true leaf initiation is earlier in sandy soil. Otherwise seedlings remained in cotyledonary stage (pseudomonocotyl) up to 3-4 months. About 44,000 plants could be planted in 1 acre of land. Seedlings raised at lower altitude during winter months are transplanted in nursery beds at higher altitude during April – May, which reduce their vegetative growth period. In open nursery beds seed germination is very slow growth and cotyledonary phase (pseudomonocotyl) remained at least for one growth season (3-4 months). Vegetative growth phase is for 3-4 years and at least it leads to reproductive phase.


2-3 q of farm Yard Manure (FYM) is required for one acre of land.

Irrigation and Weed Control

Beds needed excessive watering/irrigation to decrease the mortality rate of seedlings. However, watering is not required during monsoon period in cultivated fields. Irrigation requirement also depends on the texture of soil. Frequent watering is required once at 24hrs interval for 6 months old seedlings at lower altitudes (1800-2200m) in dry season. Weeding during rainy season is required at weekly interval. During winter months irrigation is needed once in a week to retain moisture and weeding at 15-20 days interval is required when plant is cultivated at lower altitude.


Per acre production from mature strands is estimated as 100-150 kg.

Economics (Per Acre-2002)

Input Cost                                                 Rs. 35,000.00

Output                                                   Rs. 1,00,000.00

 Yield                                                            1-1.5 q root

Note : Market for medicinal plants is volatile and the economics may vary.


Dysentery, Diarrhea, Fever, Vomiting, Children diseases.




A deciduous tree 6.0 to 10 m in height and 0.9 to 1.2 m in girth, with straight, sharp, axillary thorns and trifoliate aromatic leaves. The stem bark is bluish grey, 4-8 mm thick, shallowly furrowed and corky. Flowers 3 cm in diameter, grayish-white, sweet scented, stalked. Fruit large about 15 cm diameter, globose, ovoid and 8-15 celled.


The tree is a native of India and is found wild throughout the Indian Peninsula, in dry hilly places ascending to 1200 m in the western Himalaya.



Soil and Climate

Good sandy loam soil, sunny situation, warm humid climate are suitable for cultivation of this plant.

Nursery Raising and Planting

Seeds generally propagate bael plants. Sowing is done in June or July. The development of seedlings is very slow. They require at least one year in the nursery to be fit for transplanting. They should be transplanted in rainy season; the stem is ordinary 5-7 cm tall with 3-5 leaves and the taproot, 20-25 cm long. It is also propagated by root cuttings and stem cuttings treatment with IBA (4000 ppm) using quick dip method. Seedlings or budded plants are transplanted in the field at a spacing of 10-12 m. Budded plants start bearing fruits at the age of 4-5 years, whereas seedling trees require 7-8 years.

Manure/ Thinning and Weeding

It requires attention during first year when they are well manured and weeded after the rains.


The field after plantation should be irrigated periodically as and when required weekly or fortnightly.


The average yield is 150-200 fruits per tree. The quality of fruits is greatly associated with the weight and size of the seed-sacs. The larger and heavier the seed sacs, the greater is the amount of mucilage and poorer the quality.


The rate for 1 kg of fruit pulp ranges from Rs. 40-45.


Diarrhoea, Dysentery, Vomiting, Diabetes, Pain in abdomen.





Small erect annual herb 10-60 cm tall. Leaves small  eliptic-oblong; flowers, whitish-green & minute.

Common Names: Tamalaki,Hazaradana,Jarmala & jangli Amla.

Common Names: pippali, pipli & long peper.


The plants grow undantly throughout India up to 700 m altitude during rainy season, however the less frequency in southern part of the country. Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Maharashtra, Tamil, Nadu, Kerala, Andra Prades, Karnataka, Bihar, Orissa and Bengal.

Parts used: Whole Plant.


Soil and climate

Bhumi Amalaki is found to be well adapted to variety of soils, at soil pH ranging from alkaline to natural and acid soil. Plants have also shown preference for calcareous well drained and light textured soils. Phyllanthus amarus is a circum-tropical weed, it grows well under tropical conditions. It , however rarely survives under dry or very low temperature conditions but water logging does not show any lethal effects.  

Nursery Raising & Transplanting

The plants are propagated through seeds. About 1 Kg of seeds are sufficient for seeding for transplanting in one hectare of land. For raising the seeding, the seeds are shown in well prepared nursery beds. Well decomposed Farmyard manure should be mixed with top layer of the soil while preparing the beds. Being minute, the seeds are mixed with dry soil or sand to allow uniform distribution of seeds on the nursery bed. Later a thin layer of soil is spread to cover the nursery beds . Appropriate moisture is maintained in the beds till the seeds have germinated. In the north plains, the month of April- May was found very good for higher rate if germination of seeds and good herb yield.

          Approximately 15-30 days old seedlings, which are about 10 cm tall, are transplanted in the field at horizontal and vertical spacing  of 15 cm each. A proper irrigation just after transplanting ensures establishment of seedlings gives improved yield of herbage.


The field should be kept absolutely free from weeds for which regular and weeding in every month is required. Spraying of commercial herbicides are not desirable, science, these causes deterioration to the crop and also to avoid residual effect in the crude drug.


Organic manures are proffered. Farm Yard Manure (FYM), if applied in appropriate quantities, when plants are about 30 cm in height, would render better growth and higher herb yield.


In southern parts of country, where there is frequent rainfall during rainy season, no irrigation may be required. However, in Northern plains, where there is in frequent rain fall, one irrigation per fortnight is required. Water logging, fortunately is not a problem for this plant.


Plants are harvested when the rainy season is over, when they are still green and herbaceous. Science the active constituents of P. amarus concentrate more in the leaves, production of higher leaf mass is desired for the extraction. Plants in September contains highest amount of leaves and found to be suitable for harvesting.


Input Cost                                Rs. 2,000.00

Output Cost                              Rs. 4,000.00

   Yield                                      7 q herbage 


Jaundice, Dropsy, Diarrhea, Dysentery, Wounds.





A small evergreen tree, attaining a height of 12-13 m and girth of 1 to 2.4 m with slender druping as well as erect branching. The tree starts flowering at an early age of 2 to 3 years. Fruit is drupe, purplish when fully mature and single seeded.

COMMON NAMES: Chandan, sandalwood, safed, chandan, sandal, chandana.


It is distributed in the dry scrub forest of salem, mysore, coorg, coimbatore, nilgiris up to 900 m. altitude, also found in Andhra pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya pardesh, maharashtra and Tamil nadu.

Part used: Heart wood.


Soil and Climate

Grows well in red sandy loam soil. Crop requires humid&hot climate.

Nursery raising and planting

Two types of seeds beds are used to raise sandal seedlings: sunken and raised beds. Both of them perform equally well under different climatic conditions.

Seeds beds are formed with only sand and red earth in the ratio 3:1 and are thoroughly mixed. Around 2.5 kg seed is spread uniformly over the bed, covered with straw, which should be removed when the leaves start appearing on the seedlings. Sandal suffers from a very virulent disease caused by combined fungal and nematode infection.

When seedlings have reached 4 to 6leaf stage they are transplanted to poly bags along with a seed of “tur dal” (cajanus cajan), the primary host for better growth of sandal. Seedlings are carefully removed from beds with all roots intact; roots should not be allowed to dry. Shade can be provided for a week immediately after transplantation. Watering is to be done once a day, but excess moisture is to be avoided. Host plants are to be pruned frequently, so that they do not over grow sandal and hamper its growth. Poly bags should contain soil mixture of ratio 2:1:1  (sand: red earth: farm yard manure). It has been found that poly bag of 30X14cm size are the best.

Plant able seedlings of about 30cm height can be raised in 6-8 months’ time. A well- branched seedling with a brown stem is ideal for planting in the field.

THENNING AND WEEDING                                             

Weeding is to be done at regular intervals.


20t farm-yard-manure (FYM)/hectare is required for god growth.


It is a rain fed crop. Young plants require watering in summer months at 15-20 days interval till they are fully established.



Sandal wood trees are harvested at the age of 30-60 years. The soft wood is first removed; the hard wood is chipped and then converted into power in a mill. The power is soaked in water for 48 hours and then distillation takes place in 48 hours. The oil is rectified and filtration.


Sandal is considered to be a slow growing tree. It grows at the rate of 5cm. of girth or more per year under favorable soil and moisture conditions. The heartwood formation starts around ten years of age. The following table gives an idea of growth and development:


Age (years)

Girth at breast height cm

Yield of heartwood in kg.

















Input Cost (Rs.)                             1,00,000

Output (Rs.)                                  4,50,000

    Yield                                           1500 kgHW


Vitated Condition of Pitta, Burning sensation, Hyperacidity, Skin Diseases, Inflammations, Leucorrhoea, Menorrhagia.





An annual herb 30-80 am high; leaves lanceolate acute; flowers greenish-purple. It grows naturally. Flowering and fruiting July to September.

Common names : Chirayata, Kirata and Kirataka.


In temperate to sub-alpine Himalayan areas from J&K, H.P., U.P. to Arunachal Pradesh on slopes between 1800-3600 m altitude, Himachal Pradesh, Uttranchal, Sikkin & Arunachal Pradesh.

Parts Used : Whole plant.


Soil and Climate

The plant can be grown in variety of soils with sandy loam rich in carbon and humus. It can be grown in sub-temperate regions between ± 1500 to 2100 m altitude.

Nursery Raising and Planting

Nursery beds are prepared in selected areas in suitable climatic conditions. Seeds are sown during May-June. After 3-4 months seedlings are transplanted in the field in rows at a distance of 45-60 am. The distance between two rows is kept about 60 am.

Weeding and Hoeing

Periodical weeding and hoeing is required in nursery and field.


Compost manure or organic manure is preferred.


The nursery beds and field after planting should be irrigated periodically as and when required weekly or fortnightly. The plants are irrigated till it flowers.

Harvesting/ Post – Harvesting

The crop is usually ready for harvesting after 6-8 months. The plants are collected and dried in shade.

Economics (Per acre – 2002)

The rate for 01 kg of Chiratita whole plant ranges from Rs. 300-350.


Fever, Inflammation, Burning sensation, cough, dyspepsia, skin diseases, blood pressure.





Soil Type : It can be grown in all soil types

Sowing Season : Monsoon

Harvesting : in December

Profits : 25,000 / Acre




An erect spinous shrub, 2 - 3 m high, often forming gregarious patches, pale yellowish brown bark, closely and rather deeply furrowed. Flowers golden yellow.

Common names: Rasaut, Daruhsldi.


Occurs in the Himalayas between 2000-3000 m height and also in Nilgirl hills.

Parts used: root, root bark, stem wood and fruits.


Soil and climate

It can be cultivated in any type of soil. Grows well in temperate climate.

Nursery raising and planting

Propagation is from seeds, self-sown is nature. Seedlings or cuttings can be taken during spring. Season after the berries are over. Seedlings are transplanted in field at distenceof 100X100 cm.

Thinning and weeding

Weeding and thinning of plants may be done as and when required usually after 15-30 days for better growth.


2q. farm yard manure (FYM) per acre should be applied. Compost/vermin compost, organic manure is preferred.


Irrigation may be done as per requirement weekly/fortnightly.

Harvesting/post-harvesting Operation

The root, stem bark are removed from mature plant after two years of plantation & cut in small pieces are dried in shades.

Economics (per acre-2002)

The rate of 01 kg of bark ranges from RS.40-50.


Diarrhoea, dysentery, jaundice, eye problems.





A woody climber with small yellowish flowers and simple opposite, weight elliptic hairy leaves. It is found wild in various deciduous forests of India.

Common names : Madhunashini, Merasingi and Gudmar Buti


It is found in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Andra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnatka, Bihar and Bengal.

Parts Used : Leaves and roots


Soil And Climate

The plant grows in a variety of soil and agro climatic conditions in tropical and sub-tropical regions upto 600 m.

Nursery Rising and Planting

Mature seeds are collected between October – December and sown in poly-boxes over bags or small plots as nursery. The raised seedlings are transplanted in field during February-March. The plant grows well with the on-sit of rainy season. The climber is given proper support for its better growth in development. It can also be planted in between trees and inter cropping.

The plant can also be propagated through cutting and planted during rainy season.

Weeding and Hoeing

Periodical weeding and hoeing is required, particularly during and after rainy season.


Compost or Vermicompost is preffered for application while preparing soil for nursery and in the field plantation.


Periodic irrigation as and when required may be done weekly/fortnight.


After one year leaves are ready for harvesting. The leaves are usually collected during October-February and are cleaned, dried in shades. The roots are collected during summer and are cleaned, washed and cut into pieces and dried.

ECONOMICS (Per Acre, 2002)

Input Cost                                  Rs. 2,500.00

Output                                       Rs. 6,000.00

Yield                                          4 q / leaves


Hepatospleenomegaly, Jaundice, Diabetes.





A shrub or small tree reaching up to 3 to 4 m high. Leaves sessile, alternate, 1-3 foliate. Plants dimorphic, one having bisexual and male flowers and other female flowers. Fruit ovoid, drupe.

Common names : Guggulu & Guggal.


Found in Karnataka, Rajasthan, Deccan and Gujrat.

Parts Used : Olio gum-resin.


Soil and Climate

It can be cultivated in sandy to silt-loam or rocky soils, poor in inorganic matter but rich in several other minerals. The growth is faster in the soils, which have moisture-retaining capacity.

Nursery Raising and Planting

The plants are best raised from stem cutting semi-wood (old) branch. One-meter long woody stem of 10mm thickness is selected and the cut end is treated with growth harmone (IBA & NAA) and planted in a well-manured nursery bed during June-July months; the bed should be given light irrigation periodically. The cuttings initiate sprouting in 10-15 days and grow into good green sprout in next 10-12 months. These rooted plants are suitable for planting in the field during next rainy season. The cuttings give 80-94% sprouting.

Seed germination is very poor (5%) but seedlings produce healthier plants, which withstand high velocity wind.

Thinning and Weeding

The planting does not require much weeding and hoeing operation. But soil around the bushes should be pulverized twice in a year to increase the growth.


Application of 5 kg Farm Yard Manure (FYM)/plant per year is sufficient.


Requires moderate irrigation. Even a limited irrigation during summer season improved rate of growth.

Harvesting / Post – Harvesting Operation

Plants attain normal height and girth after 8-10 years of growth when they are ready for tapping of the gum by shallow incision on the bark between December and March.


Approximate 500-800 gum per well grown plant.


Input Cost                                 Rs. 1,00,000.00

Output                                      Rs. 2,00,000.00

Yield                                        8 q gum resin






An erect perennial herb, 10-60 cm in height, with woody stout, rootstock covered with reddish brown fibres of the petioles of radical leaves. Leaves radical, longitudinally nerved; flower pale-pink or blue.

Common Names : Mamsi, Balchara & Sumbulut-teeb.


Found in alpine Himalayas from 3,300-5000 m heights. Hills of Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Jammu & Kashmir and Sikkim.

Parts Used : Rhizome


Soil and Climate

Sandy loam and acidic soil rich in organic carbon and nitrogen is found best for germination as well as for better survival of seedlings and productivity. Moist and partial sunny areas are found suitable for cultivation. Further moist rough wall surface provide suitable microhabitat for better growth. At lower altitude (1800-2200 m) plain beds with slight tilt (5°-10°) are found suitable for cultivation unlike horizontal and vertical beds at alpine site.

Nursery Raising and Planting

Seeds are sown during November-December in polyhouse at lower altitude, during March-April in open beds at middle altitude and during May in alphine area. Seedlings are transplanted after six to eight weeks in the field. At lower altitude root growth as well as number and length of leaves increases rapidly as compare to higher elevation. However, fibrous root formation takes only after third year of growth when, plants are raised by seedlings. About 44,000 plants are planted in one acre of land.

Vegetative propagation through splitting of roots is found most successful in Nardostachys jatamansi and observed better for multiplication as well as for higher production within a short period than cultivation through seedlings.


For cultivation, better survival and yield of Jatamansi at lower altitude (1800m) 60-70qs manure is required for one acre of land. However, the results are found best in litter treatment instead of live stock manure. The sites rich in organic carbon needed 46-60qs manure per acre for higher yield.

Irrigation and Weed Control

Beds need excessive watering/irrigation to decrease the mortality rate. Watering requirement will change in respect of different months like no irrigation is needed during monsoon period. Watering requirement also depends on the location of sites and texture of soil. During the dry season i.e. May-June and September-October watering must be done at every two days interval at lower altitude. Weeding also depends on the condition of soil and presence of weeds. Generally weeding must be done at weekly interval in the first year of seedling growth and during the second and third year twice in a month.


Plants should be harvested just before senescence after maturing to achieve the higher quality of active contents. With a view to achieve higher amount of bio-active ingredients, it must be collected during the month of September at lower altitude while in the month of October at higher altitude. The harvesting period for this species is 3-4 years; the harvested roots are washed and dried in shade.


The rate for 1 kg of rhizome/root ranges from Rs. 150-160.


Epilepsy, Hysteria, Hypertension, Erysipelas.





A herbaceous tendril climber.

Soil Type : Grows well in red sandy loam soil

Distribution: Throughout India.

Parts used: Rhizome

Nursery raising and planting: Grown by seeds and tubers, but plants are best raised from tubers. Tubers are planted in the bed during rainy season, maintaining 60x60 cm spacing.
Tubers: About 41,500 tubers are required /ha.

Weeding and Horing: Periodical weeding and hoeing is required.

Manure: 6 Tonnes compost/FYM is required /Acre.

Harvesting: The fruits are harvested after 170-180 days of planting.

Yeild: 250-300 kg seeds /ha annually and 2.5-3 tonnes/ha tuberous roots after five years of the plantation. 


Input cost (Rs)                   Output (Rs)                                        Yield
1,50000/-                         6,50,000/-                           13q seeds/30 q tuber





A bitter annual herb, 0.5 to 1 m in height. It is also known as Hara-Chiretta. Widely distributed throughout plains of India from Uttar Pradesh to Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Naidu and Kerala.


Family : Acanthacear 
Genus : Andrographir
Species : Paniculata


Parts Used :    Whole Plant

Uses :             Jaundice, wounds, chronic fever

Cultivation practices

Soil and Climate :
It can be cultivated in shady wastelands on wide range of soils. The climatic requirement of the plant is hot and humid conditions with ample sunshine.

Irrigation : 
Harvesting : 
Yield : 
The soil of the field selected for Ashwgandha should used pulverized by ploughing and harrowing.

For raising crop in one hectare three beds of 10 x 2 m size should be tilled, pulverized and leveled during the month of May. Beds should be covered properly by suitable mulch and irrigated regularly. Transplanting of seedling is done in second fortnight of June at a row and plant spacing of 45 to 60 cm and 30 to 45 cm respectively.

To begin with one or two weeding / noeing essential to get the crop established

 3-6 tones of FYM is required for raising nursery.

2-3 irrigations are required.

By the end of September.


Yield : 12 Quintals herbage per acre.
Cost of cultivation, yield and income per acre

Input Cost (Rs)

Output Cost (Rs)




12 Quintals (Herbage)




The saffron is a small perennial herb, 40-45 cm tall. It possesses a somewhat globular corms which is solid, white, fleshy covered with a series of fibrous sheaths and 3 to 5 cm in diameter when fully developed. It produces 6 to 9 grass like radical leaves flowers are terminal, reddish purple and appears during October to November. The androcium consists of 3 stamens, filaments are short, free anthers are yellow and basifixed.

Common Names : Saffron, Zafran, Kumkum.

Parts Used : Stigma & Style.


It is cultivated in Jammu and Kashmir. Attempts have been made to cultivate it in adjoining Himalayan, parts of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal.


Preparation of Land

The plant requires very rich well-drained, sandy and sandy loam soil for optimum plant growth.


The corms are planted July-August at a distance of 5-8 cm from each other in rows, 20 cm apart, at a depth of 8-10 cm and covered properly with soil. Sixteen to eighteen quintals of corms are required to plant one acre of land.


To obtain a good crop proper maintenance of beds and drainage channels etc. are quite essential. Periodical hoeing and weeding are important for good yield. Weeding is very essential in rainy season.


The beds should be lightly watered to a soil depth of about 10 cm after planting. Light irrigation essential during flowering time with an interval of 5-6 days. One irrigation is given in November-December.


Higher floral and corm production demands 6-7 tonnes of well-decomposed Farm Yard Manure (FYM) per acre. The FYM application is suitable in the month of July-August.


Picking of flowers on alternate days during wee hours of morning provides an opportunity to pick flowers easily and keeps all the quality parameters. Processing is done by isolating stigma and style and placed for air-drying. One Kg of Saffron (stigma & style) needs 2-3 days sun drying. Normally between 1,60,000 to 1,65,000 flowers are required to produce one kilogram of good quality dried Saffron. The yield of Saffron in Kashmir is reported to be 1 to 1.5 kg per acre.


Initial expenditure to start Saffron cultivation is quite high due to high cost of planting material. The net profit thus starts from the third year onwards.


Aphrodisiac, Cardiotonic, Carminative, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Emmenogogue, Fabrifuge, Stimulent, Nerve Tonic, Stomachic.





A small to medium sized tree, leaves simple, dark green, elliptic ovate; flower in fascicles;fruit ovoid,yellow or red when ripe.

Common names: konkom, amarita, and vrasamla.


Found in Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, south Gujarat, assam, West Bengal.

Part used: Ripe fruits.



Grown in a variety of soil and in different agro-climatic conditions.


Cultivated by soft wood grafting and planted in the month of June-August.


Weeding and thinning of the plants may be done as and when required usually 15-20 days.


20 kg Farm Yard Manure (FYM) is required for better crop.


Normally grown as rainfed crop. Hence regular irrigation is not in vogue for grown-up orchards.


Harvesting is done in March-April. Fruits and Bark are removed and dried in shade.


Ripe fruit 3 ton per acre.

ECONOMICS (Per Acre – 2002)

Input Cost                                Rs. 7,000.00

Output                                   Rs. 35,000.00

Yield                                               3T


Hemorrhoids, Diarrhoea, Dysentery, Dyspepsia, Hyperdipsia.





A robust erect, perennial plant with large leaves. Roots stout up to 60 cm long and used medicinally. Flowers & fruits – August-September; seeds collected during September – October.

Common names : Kuth, Kustha.


Distributed and found in Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Sikkim & Arunachal Pradesh.

Part Used : Tuberous Root.


Soil and Climate : Sandy textured loam soil, rich in moisture and organic carbon is best for germination as well as better survival of seedlings and productivity. The plant grows in temperate and sub-alpine region.

Planting : Cultivation and nursery of Kuth in ‘Bio-edaphic condition at an altitude of 1200-1800 m is suitable. The seeds are sown in April or May in nursery. When the seedlings are ±15 cm long, these are transplanted in fields.


The crop requires 5-6 irrigations between May-September. The land is irrigated when seeds are sprouting.


Well-decomposed farmyard manure @ 2-3 q/acre should be applied to nursery beds and in the field at the time of field preparation.

Harvesting / Post-Harvesting

Usually in 2-3 years well-grown mature root tubers are developed. However, yield is obtained from 3 years old crop. Root is harvested in early September or October or early spring. The roots are cleaned with water and dried for processing.


After 2-3 years of planting about 200-250 kg. of dry tuberous roots per acre can be obtained. The market rate is Rs. 80-90 per kg.

Economics (Per acre)

 Input cost                                   Rs. 10,000.00

 Output                                        Rs. 20,000.00

 Yield                                                    2 q


Chronic and Foulucers, Odontalgia, Cough, Asthma, Hiccough, General Debility.





An erect herb 30-60 cm high with small white flower and green berries (fruits) turns red or black or ripening. Seeds discoid, smooth yellowish. Flowering &fruiting- August to October. It grow as a weed thought out dry parts of India.

Common names: Gurkkamai, kakamaci, black nightshade, mako, inabus salab.


Thought out dry parts of India up to 800 m altitude.

Parts used: Whole plants and fruit.



The plants grows in different kinds of soil including dry, stony, shallow or deep soils. It usually grows in wastelands as weed. It can be cultivated in tropical and sub- tropical agro-climatic regions.


The seeds are snow during April –May in well manured nursery beds. It takes about 15-30 days to grow. The seedling are developed in about 15-30 days after sowing. The seedling are transplanted in rows and 60 X 60cm apart in the well-prepared field.


Periodic hoeing is done, both in the nursery and field as per requirement.


The nursery beds are plantation should be irrigated periodically as and when required weekly or fortnightly. The plants are irrigated till it flowers.

Harvesting / post-harvesting

The crops is usually ready for harvesting after 4-6 months depending upon the climate and soil. The plants are collected and dried in shades.


Input cost (RS.)                          output (RS.)                                 yield

        5,500                                  18,000                           5 q herbage


Hepatomegaly, vomiting, dropsy, general debility.                       





Soil Type : Sandy 

Sowing : Plough the field in fully. Sowing is done in monsoon.

Mannuring : FYM

Harvesting : December

Profits : Rs. 20,000/- per Acre





A glabrous under-shrub with erect or sub-scandent nodose stem and slender branches. Leaves are simple, alternate, stipulate and petiolate or nearly sessile. Flowering is nearly through out of the year; inflorescence spike; fruit grayish green or darker grey berries.

Common Names: pippali, pipli & long peper.


A native of indo-Malayan religion. It grows wild in the tropical rain forests of India.

Parts used: dried spikes and roots.


Soil and climate

Long pepper can be cultivated successfully in organic matter rich fertile, well-drained forest soils. Laterite soils with high organic matter content and moisture holding capacity are also suitable for cultivation. Optimum elevation for its cultivation is between 100 to1000m. Higher elevations are not conducive to high yields. It needs partial shade 20-25% shade intensity is found to be optimum.


The area should be ploughed 2 –3 times and leveled properly. Raised beds of size 3x2.5m are prepared and pits are dug at a distance of 60x60cm and dried cow-dung or farmyard manure at the rates of 100g per pit is applied and mixed with soil. Two rooted cutting or suckers with roots and planted in each pit. To avoid any water stagnation in beds . Channels are laid out to drain excess rainwater.


It is propagated by suckers are transplanted soon after the setting in of monsoon rains. The best time for raising nursery is during March and April to avoid mealy-bug attack on roots, 10% DP is to be mixed with the potting mixture. Normal irrigation may be given on alternate days. Excess moisture in the nursery can cause phytophthora wilt. By the the end of May, the cutting will be ready for planting.


In first year regular weeding should be done as and when the weed growth is noticed in beds.


Long pepper needs heavy manuring. In soils with low fertility, the growth of the plant is very poor. Eight toners of cow-dung or farmyard manure are required for an acre of land. Since the crop will give economic yield for 3 years, the manuring has to be done each year.


Irrigation once in a week is necessary an intercrop and if the main crop is irrigated no additional irrigation is necessary for pippli, (piper longum). When the crop is not irrigated, it is necessary to give mulch with dry leaves or straw during summer months. If the crop is irrigated during summer, it continues to produce spikes and doff-season produce will be available.



The vines start bearing six months after planting. The spikes thus will be ready for harvest after two months since formation of spikes. When the spikes are full grown but unripe, these are gathered. If left with picking, they ripe and their pungency is lost to a great extent.

Harvested spikes repeatedly exposed in the sun for 4 to 5 days until they are perfectly dried. The dried spikes have to be stored in moisture proof containers. Thicker parts of lower steams/roots are cut and dried for producing piplamool. There are three grades of Piplamool.


The yield of dry spike during first year is around 200 Kg/acre it increases upto 500 Kg/acre in the third year. After third year, the vines become less productive and should be replanted.


Input Cost                                Rs. 25,000.00

Output Cost                              Rs. 50,000.00

         Yield                                      2.5 q Spikes/ 1 q root


Dyspepsia, Abdominal Pain, Splenopathy, Anorexia, Asthma, Fever, Haemorrhoids, Digestive, Appetiser.





An erect evergreen, perennial under-shrub, 75 cm to 1 m in height. Root is prominent, tuberous, usually branched, 0.5 to 2.5 cm in diameter. Up to 40 to 60 cm deep into soil. The roots possess high alkaloid concentration.

Common Names : Candrabhaga, Chota chand, Serpentina root, Chandrika & Asrol


Foot hills of Himalayan range, up to the elevation of 1300-1400 m and almost all over the country. Lowers hills of Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, and Jammu & Kashmir, etc.

Part Used : Root.


Soil and Climate

The plant requires slightly acidic to neutral soils for good growth with medium to deep well drained fertile soils. Clay-loam to slit-loam soils, rich in organic content are suitable for its commercial cultivation. It grows well in frost-free tropical to sub-tropical situation under irrigation.

Nursery Raising & Planting

The crop can be propagated by seed, stem cutting and root cuttings. Seed propagation is the best method for raising commercial plantation.


Farm Yard Manure at (10 to 12 q/acre) is required for land preparation has given good response by the crop.


Rauwolfia, if grown in the areas which receive rainfall of 150 cm or above well distributed throughout the growing season such as in Assam and Kerala, can be raised and rainfed crop under subtropical conditions. It is suggested that 15 to 16 irrigations, at 20 days interval in summer and at 30 days interval in winter are sufficient.


The Rauwolfia field should be kept relatively weed-free in the early period of growth. This means giving two to three weedings and two hoeing in the first year where sole Rauwolfia crop is taken or 5-6 weeding where intercrops in Rauwolfia are practised.


Root yields at different age and climate has shown that 18 months duration crop produce maximum root yield. Transplanting is done in July; the harvesting period coincides with the shedding of leaves during early autumn season next year. At this stage, the roots contain maximum concentration of total alkaloids. At harvest the root may be found to go up 40 cm deep in the soil.

After digging the roots are cleaned, washed and cut into 12 to 15 cm pieces for convenience in drying and storage. The dry roots possess upto 8-10 per cent of moisture. The dried roots are stored in polythene lined gunny bags in cool dry place to protect from mould.


On an average, root yield vary from 6 q/acre of dry weight under irrigation depending upon soil fertility, crop stand and management.

Economics (Per acre)

Input Cost (Rs.)                                    20,000.00

Output (Rs.)                                         40,000.00

Yield                                                    6 q root


Hypertension, Insomnia, Epilepsy, Fever, Cardiac Problems, Palpitation.





A perennial, prickly climber excessively branched, Roots tuberous 15-40 cm long, grayish-white and cultivation both for medical and ornamental purpose.

Common names: Satamuli, Satavar, Abhiru&Satavari.


Found thought out INDIA in the topical& sub-topical parts up to 1200m wild or cultivated.

Part used: Tuberous roots.


Soil and climate

Plant usually grows in a variety of soils including medium black heaving pH7-8,it can be easily grown in sub- topical &sub-temperate agro- climate religious up to 1400m.


The soil is given 20-30 cm deep ploughing followed by 2-3 harrowing after few days. Grasses and weeds are removed. The land is properly leveled and 40-45 cm broad ridges are prepared for plantation, leaving 15-20 cm furor space as channel for irrigation.

Nursery raising and planting

Seeds are sown in April in raised beds at 5cm a part to facilitate decay of its hard seeds coat by the time monsoon commence. Germination stars in 8-10 days after the first shower of monsoon in June. The seedling are transplanted on ridges at 60X60 cm a part and provided bamboo stakes when the plants attained a height of 45cm.

Vegetative propagation is by division of rhizomatous disc present at the base of the aerial stem. The rhizomatous disc develops several vegetative buds around the aerial shoot. The disc is divided in such a way that each piece possessed at least two buds along with 2-3 tuberous roots. These pieces are planted, covering the buds with 1cm of soil followed by irrigation. The sprouting commences in 8-10 days after plantation.


Two weeding are carried out during the rainy months, therefore one in n Irrigation ext 2-3 months.

Irrigation is done after the rainy season is over, at the rate of two irrigations in winter season and one per month in summer season.


FYM used for better crop produce.


The plants are harvested after 40 months in winter. The roots are dug-out collected and cleared. The roots are peeled off with the help of sharp knife immediately after harvesting. It is observed that in case the roots are not peeled of within a few days, it is a bit difficult to remove the skin as such. In such a conditions the roots are kept in boiling water for about 10 minutes, followed by cold water treatment of facilitate peeling. After removing the skin, it is cut transversely into small pieces and dried in shades.


Estimated yield of 35 q/acre dry roots in reported.

Economics (per acre)

Input cost (RS)                                    25,000

Output (RS)                                          70,000

Yield                                                   35q root


Nervous Disorders, Burning Sensation, Thirst, Cough, Tuberculosis, General Weakness, Aphrodisiac, Enhance Lactation.





An annual plant, 30-60 cm high, much branched; stem and branches usually purplish, sub-quadrangular; leaves 2.5-5 by 1.6-3.2 cm, elliptic oblong-obtuse, pubescent on both side and minutely gland-dotted. Flowers in racemes.

Common Names : Holy Basil, Krishna Tulsi.


Found all over the country.

Parts Used : Leaf, Whole plant, Seed.


Soil and Climate

Thrives well on variety of soils. Rich loam to poor laterite, saline and alkaline to moderately acidic soils are well suited for its cultivation. Well-drained soil helps better vegetation growth. Water logged condition can cause root-rot and result in stunted growth.

The plant can be grown under partially shaded conditions but with low oil contents. It flourishes well under fairly high rainfall and humid conditions. Long days and high rainfall and humid conditions. Long days and high temperatures have been found favorable for plant growth and oil production. Topical and sub-topical climate (at altitudes upto 900m.) is suited for its cultivation.

Land and Preparation

The land is brought to fine tilth and laid out into plots of convenient sizes for irrigation. It is preferable to add 6 tonnes of farmyard manure per acre during the preparation of land and mixed well in the soil.

Nursery Raising and Planting

The nursery can be raised in the third week of February and transplanting is generally started in the middle of April. The plant is propagated by seeds. Raised seed beds of 2-3 m x 5 m long should be throughly prepared and well manured by addition of farmyard manure. About 200-300 g seeds are enough to raise the seedlings for planting one hectare of land. The seed should be sown 2 cm below in the nursery beds. The seeds germinate in 8-12 days and the seedlings are ready for transplanting in about 6 weeks time 4-5 leaf stage. The seedlings are transplanted at 40 x 40 cm and 40 x 50 cm to get high herbage and oil yield per acre.

Weeding and Hoeing

First weeding is done one month after planting and the second 4 weeks after the first. One hoeing after two months of planting is sufficient.


Compost/Vermi compost and organic manure is preferred.


Irrigation depends upon the moisture content of soil. In summer 3 irrigations per month are necessary, in rainy season no irrigation is required.

Harvesting/ Post-Harvesting Operation

The crop is harvested is obtained at 90-95 days of planting. Then it may be harvested every 65-75 days interval. Harvesting is done usually on bright sunny days for good oil yield and its quality. It is not desirable to harvest the crop if there was a rain in the previous day.


About 2 tonnes of fresh herbage can be obtained twice or thrice a year per acre.

Economics (Per acre)

Input Cost (Rs.)                            2,000.00

Output (Rs.)                                 5,000.00

Yield                                      2 tones herbage


Fever, Asthma, Bronchitis, Vomiting, Cough, Expectorant.





A large scandent shrub with elliptic lanceolate leaves; flowers small white of greenish –white; fruits are small rounded red to blackish, striated, 3-4 mm berries. Flowering March – April and fruiting June – October.

Common names: Bhabhirang, Vidangah & Baobarang.


Hills of eastern India in Assam, Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and through out North India.

Part used: Fruit.


Soil and climate

The plant can be grown in a variety of soils including light black cotton soil, sandy/rocky in different agro- climatic conditions in topical regions up tp 800-1500 m altitude.

Nursery Raising and Planting

The seeds are sown in well – prepared nursery beds in May-June. About 5 k/g seeds are required for preparing 10,000 plants, which are sufficient for one acre of land. The seedlings of 6 months are transplanted in to the heavily manured field at a distance of 60X60 cm. The seedling can also be planted in pits of 1X1 feet size.


Compost/vermin compost, Orognic manure in preferred.


Weeding and thinning of plants may be done as and when required usually after 15-30 days for better growth of the plants.


The plantation can be irrigated usually at an interval of 15 days.

Harvesting/ Post-Harvesting

Harvesting is done after two years. Generally fruiting starts in August-September after 2 years of plantation and fruit ripes during November to January. The fruits are collected, dried in shade and stored in clean porous Jute-bags. The fruits are collected manually and the plant is allowed to grow further.


The produce (dry fruits) of about 10 q/acre can be collected.

Economics (Per/acre)

Input Cost                                            Rs. 35,000.00

Output                                                  Rs. 1,00,000.00

Yield                                                      10 q fruit


Helminthiasis, skin diseases.





A perennial herb with tuberous roots 50-100cm high with an erect stem; leaves semi-circular, flower blue, in loose racemes. Roots are dark-brown externally and on tasting. It produces strong tingling sensation.

Common names :mithavis and vatsanabhah.


Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Jammu & Kashmir and Sikkim.

Part used: Roots.   


Soil and Climate

Sandy textured loam soil, rich in moisture, humus and in organic carbon between 2000-3000 m altitude near snow line usually on slopes is preferred. It requires temperate to sub-alpine area. The land for planting may be sloppy with raised beds in between furrows like potato cultivation.

Nursery Raising and Planting

Seeds are sown during February-March about 3-4 cm deep in the soil and 10-15 cm apart in the raised nursery beds. Five hundred to eight hundred grams seeds in one hectare are sufficient. The sprouting/germination of seeds should be protected from frost. About 5-10 cm long seedlings are suitable for transplantation in the field. The pieces of root tubers (root-stocks) with growing buds can also be planted directly in the field during May-June.


Compost/vermin-compost or organic manure is preferred.


Irrigation may be done till flowering or fruit setting is there, usually intermittently as per requirement (weekly/fortnightly)


Weeding of plants may be done as and when required usually after 15-30 days for better growth of the plant.


The mature root tubers after completion of reproductive (Flowering/Fruiting) phase are ready for collection with in three years of planting. However, it is observed that maximum active ingredients are found during July-August at the time of initiation of flowering period. Thus during this period plants can be harvested to achieve high quality of active contents. The collected tubers are cut into small pieces, dried in shade and stored in cool moisture free dry containers.

Economics (Per Acre)

Per acre production from mature stands in natural pockets in estimated as 250 kg. the rate for 01 kg of roots ranges from Rs. 100-130.


Cephalgia, Neuralgia, Cardiac Debility, Leprosy, Skin Diseases, Paralysis, Fever.




MILK THISTLE (Plant that Heal)

Scientific Names   : Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertner

Synonyms           : Carduus marianus L.; Cnicus marianus, C. benedictus

Family                : Asteraceae (Compositae)

Common Names    : Milk Thistle, Variegated Thistle, Wild Artichoke; Mary Thistle, St. Mary Thistle, Marian Thistle, Lady's Thistle, Holy Thistle (Born 1996; Foster, 1990; Anonymous, 1985); Marienistel fruchte (German) (Blumenthal Et Al., 1998)


The Silybum genus contains two species: S. marianum (L.) Gaertner and S. eburneum. Both species are indigenous to the mediterranean region, although Kashmir is considered the native home of S. marianum (Morazzoni and Bombardelli, 1995).

Silybum marianum is a persistent herbaceous annual or biennial eaisly recognized by its stout thistle, reddish-purple flowers, large prickly leaves with milky white zones, and tubular-shaped flowers that terminate in shape pines (A Snonymous, 1985).The glabrous stem varies widely in height (20-150 CM high) and the upper part of the stem is erect and branched. The large glabrous white-veined leaves have a distinct spiny margin. the brownish-colored fruits are hard skinned any shiny, average 6-8 mm in length, and display a white silk-like pappus at the apex (Morazzoni and Bombardelli, 1995).

In many regions, milk thistle (S. marianum) is a widespread way side herb. throughout Europe and north America, milk thistle is often found in wastelandes, along roadsides, and on cultivated ground. The distribution of S. marianum ranges from the sea to submountainous areas, where it grows in altitudes up to 700-1 , 100 m (Marazzoni and Bombardelli, 1995), European colonists reportedly transported the herb to the new word from Britain (Pickering, 1879, in Foster, 1990), and it has since become naturalized in the eastern United States, California, and parts of Canada. Milk thistle also grows in India, China, South America, Mexico, Australia, and Africa (Foster, 1990; Anonymous, 1985). Milk thistle has very few predators and matures in less then one year, flourishing best on well-draining soils and in sunny areas (Foster, 1990).


Silybum marianum is an edible plant; despined, the leaves are eaten much the same way as artichokes. The seeds, when roasted, can be brewed as a coffee substitute. Historically, the favorful leaves and roots of this species were eaten as foods and occasionally employed in madicinal preparations (Morazzoni and Bombardelli, 1995). In Europe, milk thistle was cultivated in gardens both as a vegetable and an ornamental plant (Foster, 1990).

The genus name Silybum is from the Greek sillybon: a tuft or pendant. The oldest known mention of Silybum as a medicinal plant was by legendary Greek physician Dioscorides, who coined the name to describe a thistle whit white-blotched leaves. he prescribed the roots of . marianum as an emetic, and with the leaves he made a decoction to treat snakebites (Marazzoni and Bombardelli, 1995; Hobbs, 1984).

Bingel and Farnsworth (1994) list galactogogue use of the seed in England and the root or seed in Italy. John Evelyn wrote "Disarmed of its prickles and Boiled, it is worthy of esteem, and thought to be a great breeder of milk and proper diet for women who are nurses" (Grieve, 1980, p. 797). To followers of the Doctrine of signatures, the white blotches on the leaves would likely indicated its utility as a galactogogue. one legend relates that while nursing the infant Jesus, the virgin Mary spilled a drop of her Brest milk on the leaves, Which forever after gave them their characteristic white veins. Still other legends appear to stem from an older, pre-Christian goddess myth when milk thistle was called Venus thistle and delicate to the Norse goddess Freya ( Marazzoni and Bombardelli, 1995).

In the fourth century B.C Theophrastus Spoke of S. Marianum, as did Dioscorides and Pliny in the first century A.D. During the middle ages, herbalists used several different parts, including the root and aerial parts, to treat swellings and erysipelas. The nineteenth-century British herbalist, Culpeper, recommended S. marianum for melancholy diseases, which at that time would include liver or bile-related diseases (including obstructions of liver and spleen). Hobbs (1984) recounts that Culpeper used an infusion of the fresh root and seeds to treat jaundice.

In the United states, the eclectic physicians of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries prescribed remedies made from S. marianum for varicose veins, menstrual-related pelvic congestion, and congestion of the liver, spleen, and kidneys, Topical application of the decoction was claimed to be of benefit in treating cancer. For these and others diseases, a tincture taken in a dose of five drops was prescribed by naturopathic doctors. Tinctures made from the seeds are still used to treat liver ailments, including jaundice, gallstones, peritonitis, hemorrhage, bronchitis, and varicose veins (Anonymous, 1985; Schauenberg and Paris, 1974). In France, the fruits, roots, and leaves of S. marianum are employed in remedies for the variety of related complaints: chronic constipation associated with jaundice, bile stones, hepatitis, and steatosis. Decoctions and tinctures of the fruits are though to have therapeutic effects on the circulatory system, particularly hemorrhoids, vericose veins, hay fever, asthma, and nettle rash. In Italy, the fruits are used in treatment of hepatic complications such as oliguresis and hypotension. in Germany and Hungary, decoctions and tinctures are used against cholangiopathies, bile stones, and liver problems. in Greece, various plant parts are used to make remedies for vericose veins, cholelithiasis, duodenal ulcer, amenorrhea and hepatic-related chronic constipation (Marazzoni and Bombardelli, 1995). Several Thistles have been traditionally used in herbal remedies for liver ailments; however, only S. marianum contains silymarin, a complex of flavonoid, like compounds with demonstrable therapeutic effects (Hobbs, 1984).

Milk thistle is widely recommended today by physicians in Europe as both a protective and restorative agent for liver damage resulting from hepatits, alcoholism, cirrhosis, and damage due to pharmaceutical drugs, anesthetics, and Amanita mushroom poisonings, is addition, the silymarin complex is prescribed by many European practitioners for various symptoms of sub clinical liver diseases linked to environmental toxins. Among the various symptoms of environment liver disorders that silymarin reportedly mitigates are; low energy postprandial sleepiness, depression, irritability, headaches, allergies, poor digestion, and acne (Foster, 1990;Hobbs, 1984; Marazzoni and Bombardelli, 1995 ).


Lipid Compounds :

The lipid fraction comprises 20% to 30% of fruits; of this,52% to 53% is linoleic acid. in the saponifiable fraction, B-sitosterol has also been identified (Marazzoni and Bombardelli, 1995).

Phenolic Compounds :


The seeds contains the flavonoids quercetin, texfolin, and dehydrokaempferol  (Marazzoni and Bombardelli,1995 Hobbs, 1984;) 


Flavonolignans in the plant, generally called silymarin, are the main active constituents. Flavonolignan-like substances found i the seeds include dehydrosilybin, desoxysilydianin (silymonin), silyhermin, neosilyhermin, silandrin, and silybinome (Awang. 1993; Rumyantseva, 1991; wagner et al., 1974). The seeds contains the highest concentrations of silymarin. Higher quantities are typically found in specimens from southern, subtopical areas (hobbs, 1984).

Silymarin is an umbrella term coined in 1968 by Wagner and colleagues to describe the entry group of active flavonolignan principle found only in the seeds of S. marianum. Silymarin consists of three isomers: silibinin (formerly silybin), silydianin, and silycristin (a.k.a. sildianin and silicristin, resectively). silibinins a and b are diastereoisomers (Tittel and Wagner, 1977; Wagner et. al., 1974). The primary flavonolignan in the silymarin complex, silibinn a, consist of a benzodioxane grouping drived from the coupling of  taxifolin with coniferlyl alcohol ( Marazzoni and Bombardelli, 1995 ).

Gas-liquid chromatographic analysis of extracts of S. marianum yeilded 2, 3-dehydrosilybin, as well as silibinin oligomers and dehydrodiconiferyl alchol (Wagner, 1974). Three other flavonolignans (3-deoxy-flavonones) have been identified. In addition, studies show that the presence and concentration of active principles can vary by geographical region. For example, white-blooming   varietal species of S. marianum have yeilded new compounds: silymonin (3-deoxy-silydianin) and silyandrin (3-deoxy-isosilybin) ( Marazzoni and Bombardelli, 1995).    




Family: Euphorbiaceae (spurge family)
Common Names: peregrina, spicy jatropha

Jatropha curcas (Kattamanakku) is an oil plant. The botanic name Jatropha is derived from Greek, "Jatras" meaning Doctor and "trophe," Nutrition.

One of the main crops currently being promoted for biodiesel production in several countries, globally, is Jatropha curcas. There have been substantial political and social pressures to promote the growing of such crops (in particular Jatropha curcas) in India, as a means of economic empowerment, social upliftment and poverty alleviation within marginalized communities. 

Jatropha is a valuable multi-purpose crop to alleviate soil degradation, desertification and deforestation, which can be used for bio-energy to replace petro-diesel, for soap production and climatic protection, and hence deserves specific attention

Jatropha can help to increase rural incomes, self-sustainbility and alleviate poverty for women, elderly, children and men, triabal communities, small farmers. It can as well help to increase income from plantations and agro-industries.

Government of India has selected the plant for National Program compared to others due to followings: -

  • Low cost seeds
  • High oil content
  • Small gestation period
  • Growth on good and degraded soil
  • Growth in low and high rainfall areas
  • Seeds can be harvested in non-rainy season
  • Plant size is making collection of seeds more convenient

Of all the above prospective plant candidates as bio-diesel yielding sources, Jatropha curcas is standing "at the top" and "sufficient information " on this plant is already available


Peregrina is an evergreen shrub or small tree with glossy leaves and clusters of star shaped bright scarlet or vermilion flowers. The plant has a rounded or narrow domed form and gets up to 15 ft (4.6 m) tall with a spread of 10 ft (3.1 m) or so, although in cultivation it is usually smaller. Peregrina often grows shrublike with several slender trunks, but it can be pruned to a single trunk. The leaves are extremely variable; they may be entire and elliptic or oval, or they may be fiddle shaped, or they may have three sharp pointed lobes. They are bronze when young and brownish on the undersides. The flowers are about 1 in (2.5 cm) across and borne in multi-flowered terminal clusters almost all year round. 'Compacta' is a smaller, more compact cultivar.


Peregrina is tolerant of a wide variety of soils so long as they are well drained. Peregrina blooms on the current year's growth so it can be pruned at any time of the year. It handles pruning well and can be kept to shrub size, trained to a tree form or used in espalier.
Light: Full sun to partial shade.
Moisture: Peregrina is drought tolerant.
Hardiness: USDA Zones 10 - 11. Peregrina is damaged by frost and is considered marginal in zones 9B and 10A.
Propagation: Propagate from cuttings taken in spring.


Peregrina is a spectacular shrub in bloom, which is most of the year. Use it as an
accent or in a mixed shrub border. Peregrina is not salt tolerant, but it is tolerant of poor and dry soils. Peregrina makes a fine container plant on the patio or at poolside. It attracts butterflies and hummingbirds as well as rave reviews from passersby.


Jatropha is a very diverse genus which includes cactus like succulents, herbaceous perennials, and woody trees. They are all united in the same genus because their very similar flower structures suggest a relatively recent common ancestor. Coral plant (J. multifida) is a close relative that is also showy and used in Zone 10+ landscapes.



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